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J&W vs. CIA

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello there :) This is my first time posting here, although I am a long time lurker. I was hoping to get a few questions answered if possible.

I will be applying for culinary schools in the following year. As of now, I am trying to decide between Johnson and Wales, and CIA. I know both schools are excellent, and I was hoping to get some opinions as to how they are different, and why one might choose one over the other. I'm having a really hard time getting a honest perspective from people who aren't school recruiters that are paid to tell me their school is the best.

Currently, I am leaning towards J&W. I was also curious, is there a J&W campus that is considered better then the others, or are all four equal? I didn't know if Providence might be, since it's so much larger then the others.

Anyway, I appreciate any input, especially since I'm sure this question has been asked many, many times before :)
post #2 of 4
I asked myself the same question in the 80's. It used to be
that J&W was considered the working chefs school, a place
that turned out the superior worker, someone who could be
counted on to graduate, get a job at a nice restaurant on the
line and 9 times out of 10 hold his own. The flip side was, If
you went to the CIA, more impressive doors were open to you.
There was more opportunity and flexibility in where you could
get a job. The obvious difference for me was the vast difference
in price. I don't think that there is the same difference anymore.
One thing J&W did have to offer was continuing education, more
diverse campus location, larger alumni network, and the possiblility
of continued education. I would be curious to know what the chefs
out there think. Whether they can see a difference in individuals based
on which school they came from. My instructors made no beans about
it. They impressed upon us the fact that we were trained cooks after
graduating, that we were not chefs and wouldn't be for some time to come,
if ever. I have gotten the impression that some CIA students I have worked
for, worked with, and had work for me, had a higher opinion of themselves and
higher expectations in regard to compensation, and title or position. This may
just have been the particular individual though. I went to J&W and stick
by my school. Providence Campus was great way back when and I hear
its even better now. If you get advanced standing, you can be through the
culinary program in a flash. I would suggest a little more education while you
are at it. Either Management or Pastry for another 2 years. It is a wonderful
thing when you find a young worker with extensive training in Pastries and
straight Culinary. Good luck, and take the time to visit both. If your worth
your wieght, any school or program will do. Its all about sticking with it and
trying you best. Do your self a favor and set some goals. Write them down,
keep them with you. 1 year, 5 year, 10 year.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply :) I definitely plan on visiting both schools at some point over the next year. Anyone else out there with opinions on either school (or on the difference between the four J&W campuses?)
post #4 of 4
I myself went to JW. Nothing against the school, but I was REALLY disappointed!! If I had my choice to do it all over again, I would definately go to the CIA, or perhaps go abroad. I have friends that did LCB in France and it was the best experience of their lives. The cost of tuition with JW and CIA is getting pretty close. Personally, it seemed like most of the students in my class at JW were there because their parents wanted them out of the house after high school. The "you always liked to help with Thanksgiving dinner, so maybe you should be a chef" type. I went to the Miami campus, and lets just say it was a bit ghetto, and that is a big understatement. The campus actually was in the ghetto, my car had been vandalized 3 times when parked in the student parking lot. I was raised in Pennsylvania so I decided to go to Miami for a change of ingredients and to work with different types of fish. We didn't even have a fish class!!!!:eek: If you want to discuss any of this further, drop me a message!!
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